Warning: abusive relationship and violence.
"Take me to a party, Spike."
Harmony has been playing with her makeup again and she pouts at me with full red lips, hoping to persuade me to take her to yet another college-dorm piss-up. Instead of answering, I stare at her lips with interest. I've been trying to figure out how she manages to apply her make-up without looking in a mirror, and the answer is 'not very well.' There's a smudge of lipstick on her chin which I don't care to tell her about just yet.
"Spike, answer me!" She's starting to get irritated. "Are we going to a party or not?"
Smiling sweetly: "Not right now, Harm. I'm busy."
"But Spi-ike! You promised!"
"Some other night, pet."
Harm flounces away in her ridiculous stilettos and turns the stereo on, loud. "Fine! See if I care!" She's shouting to make herself heard over the music. "I'll just have my own party!" And she begins to dance, to prove it to me.
"Harm," I say absently, as though I couldn't care less that the latest pop tart is being played full volume two feet from my head. "Did you know that there's lipstick on your chin?"
The music stops abruptly and Harmony flees the room, her hand over her face.
Peace at last.
* * *
We make up when it's time to go to bed. More accurately, she 'forgives' me and I pretend that I'm sorry for something I didn't do.
Truth is, we're both horny as hell and want to shag.
The white lie and sting of humiliation are worth it for that. Harm is dumb as a post, but she's also beautiful and enthusiastic, two qualities which shouldn't be underestimated. When I'm with Harm, I can forget.
Well, at least until afterwards, when she says...
"Did she ever do that for you?" Harmony purrs into my ear. "Did she?"
Like I said: dumb as a post. Harm's jealous, you see, too jealous even to say the name out loud. But if she's looking to me for reassurance, she's made a big mistake. "No," I say, and I leave it long enough for her to feel smug and relaxed. And then I add, "she did it better."
I have to sleep on the couch after that, while Harmony sobs into her pillows and says that she hates me. Occasionally she throws something in my general direction.
I don't care. I fold my hands behind my head and pretend not to notice. Eventually, I might even get some sleep. Doesn't really make a difference what I do. This time tomorrow, we'll be sleeping together again anyway.
* * *
Harm's nothing like her. Not in the slightest. I guess that's why I picked her.
But at times like now, when I'm trying to go to sleep and I can hear her crying, I feel like I've made a terrible mistake. Why the fuck do I bother with Harm when I know that Drusilla is still out there?
The answer's simple enough. She'll never take me back, even if I knew where to begin trying. And that hurts too much to think about for long.
Yet I can't get her out of my mind. Not even for a minute. I remember her in every detail, every nuance. It hurts to know someone so intimately, for that long, because when it's over there's not much in the world that won't remind you of them in some way or another.
But Harmony doesn't see that yet, doesn't realise how futile her avoidance of Drusilla's name really is. I don't need to hear her name to remember. Why should I? The smell of lavendar is enough. The sight of a woman in white is enough.
Hell, waking up in the fucking morning is enough. God, I miss her.
* * *
The next night I take Harm to one of her damn parties. Typical nineteen year-old, she feels compelled to show off her 'older' boyfriend to every bloody person in sight, but I shut my mouth and take it for the sake of peace. Afterwards we kill some kids, we shag, and then we sleep. Everything's back to normal.
But the night after that...
Truthfully, I can't even remember what she says exactly that makes me so angry. Just some flippant, off-hand remark she means to flatter me as we lay in bed together. Something along the lines of, the guy Dru left me for must've been something really special, to make her want to leave me.
A stupid thing to say, even under normal circumstances. And these are far from normal circumstances, because just the thought of Drusilla with someone else...
I break her jaw, right there. For a moment Harm just lies still, very still, with her cheek against the pillow, her eyes utterly blank and distant. Then she closes them and begins to cry; and these are incoherent sobbings because her mouth can't form the shapes that it normally can.
I have no patience for tears. Not Harmony's, at any rate. So I drag her out of bed by her hair, the long crimped tresses she loves to labour over for hours, and throw her to the ground. I kick her in the ribs and stare down at her back for what seems like an age.
And then I turn away. She must be thinking that's it's over at this point, because I begin to dress with great deliberation. I pull on my shirt, my jeans, my duster, and last of all my boots. All of which Harmony must take as signs of closure. She thinks that a broken jaw will satisfy me, that the bloodied teeth she dribbles onto the ground are penance enough for her rash statement.
But I am crueller then that.
She should know better. She should expect it when I walk back to her, still lying on the ground, and bring my boot down on her neck.
I bring my heel down hard, feeling the vertabrae crack under the blow. Again and again I do it, hearing her gurgle as the blood pours out of her mouth in a red gush. And when I am certain that I've severed her spinal cord, that the twitchings of her limbs are merely involuntary muscle spasms, I crush her fingers as well. She can't feel it by now, but it sure as hell makes me feel better.
Then I walk out the door. Whistling.
* * *
I haven't killed Harmony. She has a broken jaw and a shattered spine, but with time and care she could heal. Even the fingers can be repaired, eventually.
All my good work is reversible. Vampirism's a bitch like that.
But, I ask myself, who will want to nurse Harmony back to health? Who even knows that we live in this rickety abandoned house on the outskirts of town?
Most likely she'll lie on the bloodied floor forever, until she dries up into dust and bone.
I really should kill her now, I tell myself as I smoke another cigarette. But I don't go back inside just yet. Not just yet.
For when Harmony's dead - what then? I haven't really thought about what happens after that. Guess I'll be alone again. Bloody hell...
Maybe I'll look for her, wherever she might have got to by now. But I can already tell I won't have the courage to do that. Probably just get drunk and shack up with some other blonde ditz. In six months time, no doubt I'll end up in the exact same place as I am right now. Without anyone. Without...
Once I say it out loud, there's no going back. I'm down on my knees in the dust, beating my hands raw on the ground, wrenching up great handfuls of gravel and dirt, tasting it in my mouth and feeling it under my nails. And I'm screaming, screaming out all the things I never said before.
Why did you have to leave me, Dru, why don't you want me anymore? Why couldn't it just stay the same forever? Everything was perfect between us, until it all went so fucking wrong and I don't even know why. Christ, look at what you've done to me, just look at what I've become! I need you back, baby, I need you back so bad...
And now I'm crying, crying so hard the dust in my hands turns to mud.
Fuck you, Dru. Fuck you that you can do this to me.
* * *
Time passes. One night, a hundred years, it all feels the same to me right now. I lie in the dust and don't move a muscle. I don't even blink. Only when I can see the red glow of dawn on the horizon do I finally stagger to my feet.
I'm a wreck. My fingernails are half ripped away and my hands are bloody, my clothes torn and covered in dust. Nothing seems to hurt, though. It all seems very... distant.
Slowly I walk back inside, past Harmony lying on the floor in a pool of blood. But I walk straight past her, to the back room where I shed my clothes and don fresh ones. I wash away the blood and dirt, splashing the cool water on my skin with a sigh of relief. I cup my hands under the tap and drink to rid my mouth of the taste of ashes. I run my fingers through my hair.
Soon I am clean again.
* * *
When I am ready, I walk back into the main room. Ever so gently, I pick up Harmony in my arms and carry her to the bed. I try not to hurt her, try not to jostle her more than is necessary. I handle her as delicately as a piece of glass.
Carefully I clean the blood from her fair skin and treat her wounds as well as I can. I tear sheets into bandages to wrap around her mutilated hands. I bind her jaw so that it will set properly and arrange her useless limbs so that she will be comfortable. She looks almost peaceful like this, tucked into bed beneath clean white sheets.
"Hush, love," I say to her when she begins to stir from unconsciousness. She opens her eyes and stares at me, confused and disorientated. Tenderly, I pull a strand of hair away from her face and tuck it behind her ear. "Don't worry, Harmony. You're safe now, do you hear me? I'll take good care of you."
She can't speak because of her jaw and her eyes are dazed. But she seems calm enough.
"There's my girl." I lean forward and kiss her on the forehead, softly. "We're going to be alright. Now go back to sleep."
She shuts her eyes obediantly and soon slips back into slumber.
* * *
Tomorrow, I think, I will have to raid a blood bank for supplies. When she gets better, I will bring victims back here for her to feed on. And I will steal a wheelchair from the hospital when I go to look for painkillers...
So many things to look forward to. So many years we'll have together.
Yeah, everything's going to be alright. I just know it.